Splatter-free Studio Hack to Keep Your Studio Clean

Trying to keep a pottery studio clean is a never-ending battle. So it is always great to hear nifty tips from other artists on how to keep things tidy. Today’s post contains one of those nifty tricks.

In this excerpt from the May 2022 issue of Ceramics Monthly, Jeanette Stevens explains how she turned every dog’s worst nightmare into a useful tool for preventing clay and glaze spattering.

Reclaiming clay has always proved to be a messy studio task. Somehow, I always managed to get clay splatter on the ceiling and walls no matter how careful I was.

While cleaning out our shed, I came across an unused “cone of shame”—the plastic, cone-shaped dog collar the vet insists your dog needs to prevent them licking or chewing healing areas. I was instantly inspired to put it to use in the studio.

This is a simple hack. The inverted collar rests on the top of the bucket containing your slurry and clay trimmings. The neck opening is big enough to insert a cordless drill with a plaster-mixing attachment. When mixing on full speed, my ceilings and walls remained pristine! There was no splatter on my clothes or face, and I had the smoothest creamy slip when finished mixing.

1 Pour your reclaim into a 5-gallon bucket, attach a plaster-mixing paddle to a cordless drill, and place a plastic “cone of shame” dog cone over the bucket.

2 Insert the drill mixer in the opening of the inverted cone, and mix the reclaimed clay to a smooth slip consistency. On full speed, as shown here, there is no splatter outside of the cone.

Bonus points:

  • The cone is simple and easy to clean under running water
  • Stores flat, taking up minimal storage space
  • A cone sized for a large dog fits many different bucket diameters
  • Inexpensive
  • Also great for mixing glaze and slip from a powder base, minimizing the dust kick back. You still need to wear a properly fitted respirator for safety, but less dust in the air means less dust resting on all surfaces.

Reclaiming clay is now something I thoroughly enjoy due to the quick and easy process with this new tool. Plus, our two Rhodesian Ridgebacks were delighted to donate their collar to its forever home, Far Forest ceramics studio, where it is now finally fully appreciated.


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